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ZEOLITE AND ACTIVATED CARBON FOR PROTON EXCHANGE MEMBRANE FUEL CELLS ( zeolite-and-activated-carbon-for-proton-exchange-membrane-fu )

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VOL. 17, NO. 1, JANUARY 2022 ISSN 1819-6608 ARPN Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences ©2006-2022 Asian Research Publishing Network (ARPN). All rights reserved. www.arpnjournals.com MODIFICATION OF HIERARCHICAL ZEOLITE AND ACTIVATED CARBON FOR PROTON EXCHANGE MEMBRANE FUEL CELLS Silvester Tursiloadi1, Faridatul Afiyah2, Deni Shidqi Khaerudini3, Muhammad Safaat1, Kiky Corneliasari Sembiring1, Muhammad Al Muttaqii1 and Sigit Priatmoko2 1Research Center for Chemistry, National Research and Innovation Agency of the Republic of Indonesia,, Kawasan PUSPIPTEK Serpong, Tangerang Selatan, Indonesia 2Departement of Chemistry, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Universitas Negeri Semarang, Jl. Raya Sekaran, Sekaran, Gunung Pati, Kota Semarang, Jawa Tengah, Indonesia 3Research Center for Physics, Indonesian Institute of Sciences, Kawasan PUSPIPTEK Serpong, Tangerang Selatan, Indonesia E-Mail: tursiloadi@gmail.com ABSTRACT Natural zeolite-activated carbon composites are presented as a potential proton exchange membrane (PEM). To improve the proton exchange membrane (PEM) properties of natural zeolites, modification into hierarchical zeolite has been conducted by alkali treatment of desilication method using alkali solution of NaOH. The material was characterized using Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) and Differential Scanning Calorimetric (DSC), X-ray diffraction (XRD), N2 adsorption, and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). A certain ratio of natural zeolite-activated carbon was casted using hot press to produce a membrane. A series of physicochemical characterization techniques was applied to provide insight into the water uptake, swelling ration, ion exchange capacity, and proton conductivity. Alkali-treated natural zeolite membrane showed higher proton conductivity (7,47 x 10 x 10-3 S/cm) than natural zeolite membrane (5,76 x 10-3 S/cm) which pointing a potential for PEM application in fuel cell. Keywords: natural zeolite, hierarchical zeolite, alkali treatment, proton exchange membrane, fuel cell. 1. INTRODUCTION Fuel cells offer a highly efficient technology to produce clean power and heat with near-zero emission [1], simple design [2] and low temperature system [3]. Fuel cells converts chemical energy of fuel (hydrogen) and oxidizing agent (oxygen) into electrical energy through redox reaction [4]. Many different types of efficient fuel cells are being studied, the main constrain is on electrolyte. Several electrolyte types are molten carbonate, phosporic acid, proton exchange membrane (PEM) and solid oxide. This days, although alkaline electrolysis is dominant technology due to its lower cost, the PEM offers advantages of great importance, such as high power density, high energy conversion efficiency, fats start-up, and low sensitivity to orientation [5]. This PEM separates anode and cathode compartments and acts as a proton transport route [6]. The material for PEM application ideally meet some of these requirements, such as high ionic conductivity, At the present time, perfluoro sulfonic acid polymers, such as Nafion, are widely developed and employed as solid electrolyte in PEM due to its high conductivity and stability values [8]. However, these polymers have limitations in the operating temperature, mechanical properties limit the operating condition, including high production costs [9]. The main problem is on the loss of water from ionic pores, especially at elevated temperatures [10], [11]. Therefore, it is necessary to study other alternative materials for PEM application. Significant efforts have been made to modify Nafion membranes for the application at low humidity or elevated temperatures. Incorporation with hygroscopic metal oxide particles such as SiO2, ZrO2, TiO2, zeolite and zirconium phosphate into the hydrophilic domains of the polymer electrolyte membrane or catalyst layer in order to enhance the thermal stability and water retention properties of the membrane [12]. Among these materials, zeolite is a good candidate for the polymer membranes because it can be controlled to maintain a suitable hydration of the membrane under fuel cell operating conditions and it has a good mechanical properties [13]. The properties and performance of zeolite membranes are highly dependent on the Si/Al ratio content. The high silica content can boost the hydrophobic property caused by the rise of specific area resistance value [14]. However, microporous characteristic of zeolite can inhibit the reactant diffusion. To increase the surface area and form mesoporous, zeolite can be treated by desilication treatment, furthermore, it creates hierarchical zeolite [15]– [17]. In the other hand, zeolite composite membrane has low mechanical stability, prone to cracking, a polymer material as a binder is required. Polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) is a polymer that performs a good thermal and chemical stability, reliable mechanical strength and asymmetric structure which hold a potential as a binder in PEM application [18], [19]. PVDF has been widely used as proton conductivity, gas separation, direct methanol fuel cell [20], ultrafiltration, and microfiltration membranes [21]. This material has biocompatible properties [21] and resistant to methanol compounds [22], so it is widely used in PEM fuel cell application. Therefore, the objective of this study was to develop a high proton-conducting membrane through combination of activated carbon with hierarchical zeolite low electronic conductivity, be chemically and mechanically stable ,p resent an adequate barrier to the reactants, and ease of manufacturability/availability [7]. 58


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